Life is too short to be bored

Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ Category

Triathlon Time

On Cinco de Mayo, while many of you were sipping margaritas and eating guacamole, I competed in my second triathlon (don’t worry I made up for that later).

The distance this time:

1/2 mile swim

15 mile bike

4 mile run

Totally do-able, right?

Riiiight.

Each distance was just a little longer than my previous race and it was held at the same place. So I figured that with one tri under my belt this one shouldn’t be that much harder.

1/2 mile Swim begins at the triathlon

The 1/2 mile swim in the lake begins.

Goals for this race were as follows:

1. Finish

2. Don’t stop

3. Do not feel sick

4. Smile and enjoy the scenery

I am happy to report that I accomplished all my goals!

This race was tougher than my first for different reasons. First off, it’s much earlier in the year and the lake was much colder! Almost every contestant had a wetsuit on. As a kind of after thought I grabbed my spring suit that I had never swam in. (spring suit = no sleeves or short sleeves and shorts) But boy I was so thankful I had at least that to supplement my tri suit. The weather overall was also colder, which I will take, compared to just the day before where the 1/2 Iron Man contestants battled 90 degree heat.

The bike ride was four miles longer than the one I had done previously. And for some reason those extra 2 miles each way were the roughest road! I was so scared I was going to get a flat tire on one of the huge pot holes I got real good at looking ahead for. (One woman did get a nasty flat but she still finished!)

This race was also co-ed, while my first was all women. I was nervous about how this would change the energy of the race. Honestly though, I didn’t notice. All the guys who were competing for time were way ahead of me and I only saw them as they zipped past me on their ride back in.

I also spent a good portion of the race worried about my friend who was also competing. I knew I was out of the water first, but then I never saw her on the bike ride. All kinds of terrible situations rolled through my head. But then on my ride back in I saw her on the run, safe on land. She yelled she would explain. When we met up on the run she told me she finished the swim but didn’t have time to complete the whole bike course so they told her to turn around and then start the run.

I am so proud of her for completing the swim. It was one of the toughest swims I have done and I spent years on swim teams and in lifeguard training. She is new to swimming! And she had no wet suit! The lake was such a beast that there were guys in their 30s who looked buff and in shape that had to be towed out. And she did it like a champ, and came out with a smile on her face.

I am so proud of us both for committing to doing this race. Showing up pumped (and scared). Getting in that cold water, and coming out again. Getting on that bike. Doing the run. And finishing the race with a smile and a new determination to rock it harder next year.

Some FAQS about Triathlons:

1. What is the order of competition?

After the race. A little snack and some warmers clothes and we are all smiles.

After the race. A little snack and some warmer clothes and we are all smiles.

Swim, Bike, Run. Always. So nobody drowns.

2. What is the distance?

They vary. Sprint, Olympic and Ironman are three common categories of race. Sprints are shorter. Olympic is the middle distance. Ironman is the longest at a total of 70.3 miles. Start with a 2.4 mile swim, then a 112 mile bike and then for good measure, go run a marathon- 26.2 miles.Β  There is also a half Ironman distance at, you guessed it, 35.1 miles.

3. What kind of bike do you have?

Just a simple road bike that gets the job done and has Shimano shifters. It’s a Trek 1000. Aluminum. Blue.

4. Do you have bike shoes?

No, I do not have clip in shoes. Nor do I wear tight bike shirts with sponsors names. But I do rock a fanny pack from time to time. And always wear my helmet. Read Just Ride by Grant Petersen for why you do not need clip in shoes.

Got any more questions? Just ask!

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Bikes and Bees, Bikes and Bees

This week has been all about bikes and bees.

I have taken a super fast crash course on both, because it was really crunch time.

This weekend I was to compete in my second triathlon (more on that later). Upon completing my first triathlon I discovered that I needed a real road bike. Or at least something a little more updated than my steel, late 70’s Centurion with down tube shifters, (I can say that now) that I affectionately call Rusty Red.

I spent months on Craigslist looking for that perfect used bike within reasonable driving distance and price range. I went to six different bike stores. I rode at least 20 different bikes. I stood over another 25 to check sizing. I heard all about the benefits of carbon, the drawbacks of aluminum, how Shimano gears work and the different levels they have, seat shapes, and fork materials.

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I never realized how much there is to know about bikes! I got a book called Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike by Grant Petersen, that helped me a lot. All I really want to do is ride. And be safe. This book tells it like it is. Why you don’t need clip in shoes and an aero helmet to race, how to not get car doored, and what makes a good saddle, etc.

Three days before the race I was still bikeless. And as soon as I felt I knew a lot about bikes (at least volumes more than I did just the week before) then I found that perfect Craigslist add, a bike in my small size, lightweight, affordable, and only an hour drive away (to a city I never mind going to visit). It was a match! And she performed great for my race.

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Upon coming home from buying my new bike I checked out the bee hive and noticed I had robber bees. Robber bees are bees of another kind, generally, that prey on weak hives and steal whatever sustenance they can. Unsure of what to do I consulted my books and learned I needed some more equipment to better secure the sugar water I am feeding my bees. Off to the bee store to talk with the experts and purchase some tools. (I am so lucky to have a bee store in my town!) Crisis averted and I think the hive is doing just fine.

On Friday, I had to go in for the first time since they had been active and release the queen. I was so nervous. First time lighting the smoker, using it, lifting the hive lid, and separating the frames filled with active bees. I found the queen box, brushed off her attendants, sprayed her cage with sugar water (so she won’t fly off), and took out the cork keeping her in the cage. Then I put her back in the box and closed it all up. No stings! I hope they are all feeling happy and will become stronger in the days ahead.

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